My Magazine > Editors Archive > Sexpert > The Year in Review
The Year in Review   by Greta Christina

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The best thing about being a sex product reviewer? I test out new sex stuff all the time: DVDs, books, sex toys, lubes, you name it. Sometimes I get very excited about a new product� and two months later I've forgotten it even existed. I've probably thrown out more sex toys than most people buy in their lifetimes.

So when a sex product makes it into my personal rotation � when I actually use it on regular basis, instead of reviewing it and forgetting about it � that is a very big deal.

Here's my year-end round-up for 2007:

Ashley & Kisha: Finding the Right Fit, DVD, Comstock Films

If you've ever griped about how fake the sex looks in mainstream porn, AND if you've ever yearned for more genuine heat and real sexual energy in dirty movies, the real-couple documentary porn of Comstock movies should jump to the top of your list.

"Ashley & Kisha" is their first lesbian movie. And it's a delight. Both women are thoughtful and funny and expressive, and together they're sweet and raunchy, deeply in love, and barely able to keep their hands off each other. During the interviews, and during the sex.

Now, you can skip the interviews if you want. But I'd advise against it. Example: In "Ashley & Kisha," the finger-fucking is off-the-charts hot � because you know the story about it. When you're watching Kisha's pussy swallow up Ashley's fingers, when you watch the look of passionate concentration on Ashley's face and the look of bliss on Kisha's, you don't just know that Kisha likes to get fucked. You know what getting fucked means to her. And that makes you feel what they're feeling more intensely.

Punishment Strap from Extreme Restraints

Do you like thud?

Do you like sting?

Or do you like both?

Maybe you're a greedy spanking pig, and you want both at the same time. Maybe you want the hypnotic punch of thuddy toys, the leather paddles and deerskin floggers...but you also want the wake-me-up bite of stingy toys like crops and canes. Maybe one of your fondest wishes is a toy that will give you a deep, profound thud, and a sharp, bright sting� layered together in one exquisite stroke.

If that thought is making you squirm, you should definitely take a close look at the Punishment Strap from Extreme Restraints.

Maybe I was just in a good mood that night. But the Punishment Strap felt exquisite: a rich, complex layering of kinky sensations, sensual and cruel, hypnotic and exhilarating. It's a fairly hard toy; but it felt so sensual that it went down like butter. It was surprisingly easy to take � and to take hard.

Which was wonderful. I like a hard spanking, but sometimes it's a struggle. This was not a struggle. This may have been the easiest hard spanking I've ever taken. Within about two minutes of feeling this thing landing again and again on my upraised bottom, I knew we had a keeper.

Sex Mannequin, DVD, Bleu Productions

Maria Beatty is probably my favorite porno director. She clearly loves both sex and film, and takes both very seriously. And as a result, her videos are that rare blend of beautiful filmmaking and dirty, dirty smut. When she's firing on all cylinders, her porn is among the best I've seen.

Her latest, "Sex Mannequin," is one of the keepers. It's that rarest of gems: girl-girl porn that's beautiful and feminine and graceful, but that still has the raunchy, kinky, fuck-you punch of authentic lesbian smut. If you like pretty girls in lingerie going at it like rabid animals, you're going to love this DVD.

It's real play here. Spankings that sting; bondage that binds. Cunnilingus that's real. And real, hard-core, non-fake orgasms. The sort of orgasms that shake the whole body. The sort of orgasms that scream � literally � to be let out.

And the movie is lush and luscious to watch, a beautifully-constructed treat for the eyes, with shots that are framed like works of art. Beatty is a real filmmaker, and she offers that rare combination of beautifully lit, elegantly posed, perfectly framed sexual imagery - and energetic, passionate sex.

The Wedge & the Wedge/Ramp Combo

Have you ever done any of the following?

Shoved a pillow under your ass (or your partner's ass) when you were fucking, or having oral sex?

Admired your partner's ass during doggie-style sex, and wished you could get a better view? Or admired it during a spanking, and wished you could get a better angle?

Had your dick � or your partner's dick � slip out while you were fucking?

Had your joints and muscles complain � or worse, give out � during sex, just when things were getting good?

Wished that face-to-face fucking was a little less like doing push-ups?

If so, you're gonna love the Wedge! And you're gonna love the Wedge-Ramp Combo (or the On-Ramp Off-Ramp Kit, as Good Vibrations calls it) even more.

This isn't a sex toy in the most conventional sense. You don't stick it in your pussy or your butt; you don't rub it on your clit or clip it onto your nipples; you don't spank or whip or tie anybody up with it. It's not that kind of a sex toy.

It works by helping you get in positions � and stay in positions � that are easier, and hotter, and more comfortable.

In other words, it's the kind of sex toy that makes all those other activities � fucking, sucking, spanking, and so on � easier, and hotter, and more comfortable.

And therefore more fun.

Action by Richard Kern

Here's what you see in this book. Apart from photos of naked girls shamelessly showing off their goodies, that is.

You see naked women who look like they're there. The women in these photos look engaged, interested in what they're doing.

I don't just mean that they look like they're having a good time -- although many of them do. I mean that they look present. When they're spreading their legs or playing with their tits, sucking on a dildo or bending over to show off their ass, they look like they have thoughts and feelings about what they're doing, and you get a vivid sense of those thoughts and feelings. They look like they're in the moment, really feeling and experiencing it.

And that makes it easier for you to feel it and experience it as well. Kern's idea of a perfect erotic moment involves women looking like themselves, their sexual selves, as much as possible. And that's unbelievably hot.

And now for the very best sex product I tried this year; the one that we actually use, not just now and then, but on quite a regular basis:

Ideal Rechargeable Cordless Vibrator.

I've found the Holy Grail. Well, one of them.

I've found a cordless vibrator with the same punch as a Hitachi Magic Wand.

The thing about Hitachis is that they're like jackhammers. They deliver. They vibrate your clit with a firm hand and no questions asked.

But because the Hitachi is a plug-in vibrator, you're essentially tied to the wall. You have to play near a wall socket, and you sometimes climb all over each other in bed so whoever wants to use the vibrator can reach the damn thing. I've often thought how nice it would be to use the Hitachi wherever we wanted� in whatever position we wanted.

Which is exactly what the Ideal lets us do. It gives us the convenience of a battery-powered toy, with the no-nonsense jackhammer vibrations of the Hitachi. I've used the Ideal several times now, and it's shaken my clit into ecstatic and grateful submission every time.

It may seem like I'm damning with faint praise. How often do you read a review that praises something to the skies for essentially being a lot like something else, only more convenient?

But we use the Ideal at least once a month. Sometimes more. The Ideal has taken a marvelous, sexy toy design, and fixed the one thing about it that was annoying.

And that is not faint praise. That is extraordinarily high praise indeed.

Greta Christina is a freelance writer, sex columnist, and editor of the newly released Best Erotic Comics 2008.